Across the world, travel is changing, with better interconnections between different modes being made easier, and sustainable travel is encouraged. The road and rail network in Britain is undergoing significant improvement work to better connect the country and support economic growth. New services and connections are being established to better connect communities and businesses, including high-speed intercity rail links, and cross-country rail services including the construction of new highways, railways, and related infrastructure.
The development of new park-and-ride facilities, cycle lanes, and pedestrian crossings is aimed at making Britain’s road and rail network more efficient, reliable, and accessible, and supporting economic growth and improved quality of life for all.
At GreenBlue Urban we are thrilled to see the use of integrated landscape design: The design of new and upgraded road and rail infrastructure with surrounding landscapes, providing opportunities for incorporating nature-based solutions to offer a range of environmental and social benefits.
Here are some examples in which nature-based solutions are being successfully incorporated: –
One of our most iconic Case Studies is at St Peters Square, Manchester a tram-stop and transport interchange opened in 1992 on Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network. The stop is the most widely used on the network, growth saw platforms extended in 2009 and in 2015 closed for 14 months for total redevelopment to include a four-platform interchange. The inclusion of GreenBlue Solutions for urban tree planting has given this scheme the iconic wow factor and highlights all key benefits of additional biodiversity, urban cooling, water attenuation and air cleaning – as well as stunning visual amenities.
Developing our ageing tube network has long been a priority, and GreenBlue is always on hand to support it; a recent example whereby a station has needed redevelopment to cope with increased passenger numbers is Finsbury Park, which opened in 1861, but is now integral to
City North Place is an ambitious high-end residential apartment block. This development enabled an enhanced entrance to the station incorporating trees in hard paving, architecturally designed to soften the “concrete canyon” effect, along with providing easier access to buses and other modes of public travel.
The National Planning Policy Framework requires local authorities to “adopt proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change” for example through the provision of convenient, safe, and attractive walking and cycling routes
Green roofs and walls are being integrated into new and existing road and rail infrastructure, providing habitat for wildlife, reducing heat islands, and improving air and water quality.
GreenBlue’s Verdecade is a simple and effective green wall solution giving numerous environmental benefits, our very own climbing wall systems require minimal maintenance and long life too!
The new Elizabeth Line underground line has given London some amazing opportunities to regenerate zones around the new and improved stations. One of the most dramatic new stations is the Canary Wharf interchange – probably London’s most stunning Roof Garden! Installed with GreenBlue Urban’s StrataCells to give connected uncompacted soil volumes, the Crossrail Place gardens showcase plants from around the world, giving an oasis of peace high above the bustle of the Isle of Dogs commercial zone.
To help clean the air at one of the busiest road junctions in London, Transport for London has installed a green living wall. This 200m² wall can trap particulates within the vegetation, as well as give biodiversity and visual amenity.
Bioretention rain gardens are being used to manage stormwater runoff from roads and railways, reducing the risk of flooding and improving water quality. However currently Highways are taking the lead in transforming buildouts and car parks with the use of the HydroPlanter, collaborating with Water Authorities a win-win for nature-based solutions!
Measures are being taken to minimize the impact of new and upgraded infrastructure on local ecosystems and biodiversity, including the creation of new habitats and the restoration of degraded areas. This has been of particular interest with the construction of HS2, which are using an approach that is consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework*
GreenBlue is thrilled to be supporting with their knowledge not just with our ArborSystem Tree Planting along developed sites but on BNG and on their new off-grid street lighting Reluminate, which can be used as a permanent or temporary solution.
These nature-based solutions facilitate an economic range of benefits such as carbon storage, recreation, and air pollutant removal. Making the road and rail network in Britain more sustainable and resilient and providing numerous life-changing environmental benefits for local communities to thrive.
GreenBlue Urban – Connecting Britain – Made in Britain.
* Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, National Planning Policy Framework (2012)